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Nail it, then scale it with Eric Bockman


Eric Bockman

This Mentor Me Live episode features Eric Bockman, founder of Auction Roo.  He has an early-stage idea to transform how auction houses distribute merchandise to customers.  Auction Roo does not currently have any paying customers, and Eric is looking for support in finding a business-minded co-founder and narrowing focus to get his first paying customer.

The key lessons for entrepreneurs here are:

  •  Self-awareness — Eric has a very strong awareness of his own strengths and weaknesses.  As a result, is will shorten the amount of time it takes him to find a suitable co-founder.  After you clearly understand yourself, the next step is to move toward ensuring you have a strong founding team. Entrepreneurship is a team-sport, please don’t try to ride this ride alone.
  • Don’t worry about scalability of your idea until you have satisfied customers. In Auction Roo’s case, they don’t yet have any satisfied customers.  As a result, their next milestone is to acquire one satisfied customer.  It likely looks like one auction buyer that has successfully had a small number of deliveries using Auction Roo; a returning customer is likely to be satisfied.   At this early stage, it’s too risky to send an email blast out to 14k auction buyers.  This is risky to both Auction Roo and the auction house.  Shrinking the size of the initial experiments down to 10-20 customers is probably more appropriate and will help the team move more rapidly.

I look forward to seeing you next week!

Connect with Eric Bockman here:


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Zach Yentzer: Tucson Young Professionals, Tipping Point, Community Building

Listen to Zach talk about Tucson Young Professionals, Tipping Point and Community Building.

Re-Invigorating Tucson’s Film Industry – Mentor Me Live with Jeff Brack


Welcome to Mentor Me Live. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to help Tucson entrepreneur and filmmaker, Jeff Brack. Not only has Jeff directed, written, and produced short and feature films, but he’s also helped launch a highly successful premium dine-in movie Theater Chain, RoadHouse Cinemas in Tucson, Scottsdale, and Colorado Springs. 

We’re going to work together to figure out how Jeff can acquire funding for a new feature film, “The Last Road Trip”, which he’ll be filming in Tucson.

The key lessons for entrepreneurs here are:

  1. Leverage your customer empathy skills to develop relationships with friends, colleagues, co-founders, prospective investors, and more.  Empathy really is a foundational skill that can transform all aspects of your life.  For some pointers, check out this recent Forbes article.
  2. Maintain an abundance mindset:  You are only limited by your imagination, creativity and willpower to get out and engage with others.   Even if you perceive that there are not a lot of film investors in Tucson, why not go out and try to prove that perception wrong.  In doing so, you’ll find where they do exist and overcome your financing challenge in the process.

Maintaining an abundance mindset and connecting deeply with others will take you further than you ever believed possible.   If you’d like to hear an angel investor’s perspective on the topic, check out the recent episode I recorded with Tucson entrepreneur and angel investor Dr. Marty Fox.

Good luck and see you next week!

Connect with Jeff Brack here:


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Jeff Brack Website

Devon Underwood: Recruitment, Talent Strategy, and Workforce Development

Listen to Devon talk about recruitment, talent strategy, and workforce development.

Mentor Me Live with Mica Kinder


Mica Kinder

Today on Mentor Me Live, we are going to tackle fear. As entrepreneurs, we are constantly facing our fears. The fear of running out of money, fear of hiring the wrong person, fear of customers rejecting us, the fear of our skills not being enough to accomplish our gigantic visions.

A recent HBR research study of 65 entrepreneurs noted that for entrepreneurs, courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the ability to persist in spite of it.

Here are a few tips on how to be a courageous entrepreneur:

  1. Identify the sources of your fear – If you don’t know where your fears are coming from, how can you address them? We must strengthen our self-awareness and dig deep to resolve root cause personal issues holding us back.
  2. Next, we need to break our vision into small and achievable milestones. This allows us to take action, feel a sense of accomplishment, and reduce procrastination.
  3. Utilize Ulysses contracts and time commitments to force forward motion. If you haven’t yet ready Annie Duke’s “Thinking in Bets” go grab a copy. It will change how you make decisions.

Each of us brings our own fears to the table when we found a startup, but as Winston Churchill once said:  

 “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

The power of individuals, of entrepreneurs, and of startups lies in their ability to change, to adapt, and to transform themselves to ultimately accomplish their life-saving vision.

Put your fears aside and get back to work changing the world.

Connect with Mica Kinder here:


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Shoutouts and Mentions:


Insulin Now

Driving Diversity and Inclusion in Entrepreneurship w/Joann MacMaster CEO of Desert Angels


Joann MacMaster

We have an extremely exciting show today with CEO of the Desert Angels, Joann MacMaster. Joann has served as a startup founder, mentor, investor, and educator. She’s passionate about regional ecosystem development and recently received the Larry Hecker and Sherry Hoskinson Lasting Community Builder Award and this year the 2020 Women of Influence Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

The key lessons for entrepreneurs here are:

  1. Diversity in entrepreneurship is critical because the people and cultures of customer-bases are very different, so the problem-solvers must also be very different in order to understand the challenges people face around the world.
  2. Diversity goes far beyond gender and skin color. There is diversity of backgrounds, skillsets, thought, age, geographic location, experiences, etc. So don’t just think that diversity and inclusion means women and people of color. It’s much deeper than that.
  3. It is unfair to bucket all minority groups into the same category. Women in tech have unique needs and interests different from women of color. Is there overlap? Sure. But to bucket all women into the same category for programs and resources misses the mark. The same goes for all other under-represented groups. Get specific about who is under-represented and develop a strategy to engage them.
  4. As a founder, be sure not to think about Desert Angels as a single entity – many different individual investors and affiliates. Go engage, and learn about the members individually to move your startup forward more rapidly.

Good luck and see you next week!

Connect with Joann MacMaster here:


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Shoutouts and Mentions:

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